Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DO YOU REMEMBER: Ford Pinto

Do you all remember when they came out with the Ford Pinto? It didn't seem to take long before you started to see them everywhere. Two of my best friends had Pintos. Ed had a red pinto when we were in high school. In all the time I ever rode with him around town, I don't think I ever saw him put that thing in fourth gear. And a Pinto is not a babe magnet. I don't care what you did to it, at least it wasn't one for Ed. We would cruise around the neighborhood, listen to the eight track, smoke cigarettes, and just goof around. And, of course, I had to mess with Ed every now and then.

We went cruising one Saturday night. As we headed into downtown Denver, we had to stop at just about every stop light. At one light, Ed pulled to a stop, put the Pinto into first, and was looking around and talking as we always did. As he was looking out the driver's window, I very gently reached over and pulled the Pinto out of gear -- just moved it to neutral. We kept talking. When the light turned green, Ed gave it the gas. I mean, he rev-ed it up like a race car. And we just sat there. 

The look on his face was one of puzzlement and shock. He thought he had blown the clutch. When he figured out what was up, he about came unglued and he called me a few names. I did this to him every several blocks. When he seemed about ready to make me walk home, I switched it up some. I would then instead pull the parking brake when he would stop at a light. It drove him crazy. But he did laugh about it when he told our other friends later. After that, we ended up taking my '70 Chevelle to cruise around. Besides, it was more of a babe magnet. 

There was only once that I remember Ed picking up this sweet thing while cruising around. She had run out of gas and Ed was taking her to a filling station. Ed got rid of his little Pinto not long after high school. I had gotten rid of the Chevelle by then. Ed bought a Jeep Cherokee, and I had a Chevy Blazer. We would romp around the hills near our homes.

Our friend Marc bought a bright lime-green Pinto wagon. We had loads of fun with him and his "green weenie," as we called it sometimes, since it aggravated him to no end. One night while we were all hanging out at the Denny's restaurant with nothing to do, we somehow came up with this cat and mouse game with our cars. We would drive around this BIG field out behind the King Soopers store. We would drive around with no lights on and sneak up on one another from behind, and then blast the car in front of us with our headlights. It was loads of fun.

Then we changed it up a bit. We had to drive up behind one another, get out, sneak over, and take the other persons gas cap. Once you did that, you then blasted them with your head lights. We did this weekly for several months. Then one night Ed took Marc's gas cap from his Pinto while we were at Denny's. 'Course, Marc noticed it when he went to go home.

I didn't know that Ed had taken it. Marc just knew it was one of us. Well, Marc took off for home pretty pissed at Ed and I. Once Marc was gone, Ed showed me the gas cap. He said he had a neat idea. We left my Blazer at Denny's and used Ed's car, as we cruised the neighborhood looking for other Pintos. We finally found one; it was black. Ed jumped out and "borrowed" the gas cap. We went to Marc's and put the black cap on his bright green Pinto then went back to Denny's.

The next day, we met up to go to Marc's. Marc was still miffed about his gas cap. Again Ed swore he had not touched it and I did the same. We left Marc's and met in the parking lot of Denny's. Ed was laughing like a little girl. All of a sudden, Marc came flying into the parking lot, screaming something about our moms that we couldn't quite make out. Marc threw the black gas cap at us and drove on out of the parking lot.

We spent the next couple of weeks gathering different colored gas caps from Pintos, and putting them on Marc's Pinto. He had quite the large selection to choose from, color-wise. He gave up on getting his gas cap back and bought a locking gas cap. Ed and I managed to return a lot of the gas caps. A lot of them we just left on the roofs of their Pintos. Seems that they had also bought locking gas caps.

We had a lot of fun times over the years. Marc's Pinto was the one used when we went Big Wheeling at Red Rocks Park. 

3 comments:

  1. Flier,

    What is it with Pinto's? My husband had one when he was a kid, he did all kinds of stuff with that thing. He has amazing stories too!!!! Then one night while driving on the mountain up in NM with his friend he rolled that Pinto wagon down the mountainside in an accident....and his wagon went to Pinto heaven!!!!

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    1. Sandy, Sorry it took so long to get back to ya. Hope your husband wasn't hurt. It seems that just about everybody I know that had a Pinto, has stories to tell also.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Ford is a great car model. It is ever reliable, and you can certainly have less of gas tanks emptying out. In any way, at least there are refueling services to take care of that. Good thing most of them are just a call away, so you needn't worry. Good luck!

    Abraham Yates @ Apache Oil Company

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